'I was excited to travel' - rescued beauty therapist
A beauty therapist rescued from suspected human traffickers as she was about to leave South Africa is grateful her mother told the Hawks that there was something suspicious about her new job.
Saphetha Mabona‚ 22‚ from Peddie in the Eastern Cape‚ was rescued just before boarding a one-way flight in Johannesburg to work at a "beauty parlour" in Uganda.
The Hawks contacted Interpol to verify if the beauty parlour was legitimate after being contacted by her mother‚ Khayakazi Mabona. It turned out to be a restaurant.
“Like any young woman‚ I was excited to travel and work in another country‚ but luckily my mother and sisters insisted on checking the company … I don’t know what would have happened to me if I was allowed to travel‚” Mabona told DispatchLIVE.
Her mother and siblings insisted on checking to see if the company existed‚ she said.
Her mother became worried when she realised the "work" contract was for six months but her visa was for a 30-day stay‚ as a tourist.
Mabona said that her daughter had been interviewed via Skype. “They immediately told her she’s got the job and arranged for her plane tickets. She was told to travel earlier this month‚ but we asked for postponement as we wanted her to visit an immunisation clinic‚" she said.
"The mother of the victim raised the alarm after she got suspicious about the entire trip‚” said a statement by the Hawks on Monday.
“Investigations revealed that the beauty parlour was in fact a restaurant. The task team members travelled to Johannesburg and managed to rescue the victim at the ... airport as she was about to board a flight to the foreign African country.”